Welcome to the Talisman Music website! Talisman Music features the Celtic group Talisman, musician and teacher Carl Thor, and contra dance bands Hands4 and Cascade Crossing. In addition, you will find a variety of products in our web store, and information about our teaching, sound engineering and composition services, as well as events we are promoting. We also host the web site for Vancouver's monthly 2nd Friday contra dance, Contra in the Couve!
See our Calendar for details.
- Thursday, April 10, 7:30 pm, 6:30 potluck: Carolyn Cruso and Carl Thor house concert in Lake Oswego, OR. Individually and together, lyrical hammered dulcimers, lively tunes, and insightful songs. Suggested donation $15 / $10 students. Contact mariannedecher (at) comcast.net / 503-348-2668 for information & reservations. Get poster.
- Saturday, April 12, 8:00 pm: Carolyn Cruso and Carl Thor
in concert at Artichoke Music, 3130 SE Hawthorne, perhaps the best small music listening room in Portland. Individually
and together, lyrical hammered dulcimers, lively tunes, and insightful songs. $15 at the door. Info:
- Friday, April 11, 7:30pm, at the Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave, Vancouver:
Contra in the Couve! 2nd Friday dance. Music by Riffraff (Olympia) with Sue Baker (Hood River) calling.
See video of Carl Thor and Carolyn Cruso in a house concert at Oysterville, WA, Oct. 20, 2013.
See video of Talisman playing for flash mob contra dance in Vancouver, WA, Sep. 7, 2013.
See video of Cascade Crossing at the Northwest Folklife Festival, May 25, 2013.
No Caravan of Despair, new music by Carl Thor and the Talisman Digital Symphony Orchestra, is now available for download. Lush and exotic, this four part suite evokes images of desert caravans and celebrations under the starlit sky. Find it at CDBaby or the iTunes Store.
You can stream more of our music projects on our SoundCloud page. Check it out!
Jam Tunes for Hammered Dulcimer
Join Carl Thor in a monthly workshop designed to help hammered dulcimer players at any level get more
out of their jamming experience. We learn commonly played tunes, then look at ways to play around with the tune,
adding harmony tones, rhythmic embellishments, and backup. Workshop is $25 on a drop-in basis, the first Sunday
of every month, at the Artichoke School of Music,
in conjunction with the Portland Dulcimer Jam (see below).
Jam Tunes workshop is also presented occasionally in Olympia. Contact us for more info.
Register now for Piano & Keyboard 2, taught by Carl Thor at Portland Community College, Cascade campus. This non-credit Community Ed class meets Wednesdays from 6-8pm, starting April 2, 2014. Go here for details. Piano 1 will be offered again in the Fall quarter.
Contra dance in Vancouver, WA, at Contra in
the Couve!, held on the second Friday of every month at the
Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave. This fine, roomy dance hall has a great (if ever so slightly sloped)
wood floor and an easy-to-access location just a few blocks from I-5.
Come dance with us in Vancouver! Lesson at 7:30pm, dance at 8:00pm. More info here.
Special note for Portland contra dancers: Contra in the Couve is just 4 miles from the Interstate Bridge, and no passport or security check is required for entry into Washington state!
Featured Products in our Web Store
- Artichoke Nights 2 CD featuring Artichoke Music artists, including Carl Thor.
- Come to the Dance Hall, Second Edition: A collection
of 107 melodies for Diverse Musical Instruments, Suitable for use in Country
Dancing and Related Pastimes
Newly revised and expanded tune book by Carl Thor.
- Picture Diary vol. 1 and 2 by Portland artist, Rose Thor.
- New instrument and angel ornaments from Tewksbury Ornaments - 6 new designs!
Harp, guitar, violin, angel with harp, angel with trumpet, angel with violin.
- Hammered Dulcimer ornament, hand-crafted by Tewksbury Ornaments - a Talisman Music exclusive!
Spring Fling Rendezvous
The 14th Annual Spring Fling Rendezvous hammered dulcimer festival is set for April 25 - 27, 2014, and will feature music workshops and performances with Patti Amelotte, Jody Marshall and Andy Young, assisted by our staff of Northwest talents, Carolyn Cruso, Rick Fogel, Carl Thor, and Mick Doherty. Visit nwdulcimer.com for more information. We hear it's now full, but you can still get on the wait list and find out more for next year.
Portland Dulcimer Jam
The Portland Dulcimer Jam meets 2-4pm on the first Sunday of the month, at the Artichoke School of Music, 3130 SE Hawthorne, Portland. The jam immediately follows our monthly Jam Tunes for Hammered Dulcimer workshop.
Services offered by Talisman Music
- Music for stage shows and other events by Talisman and Carl Thor
- Music for contra dancing by Hands4 and Cascade Crossing
Recordings, Published Music and Other Products,
available through our Web Store
- Recordings by Talisman Music artists and others
- Sheet music and tunebooks by Carl Thor, Hank Laramee, and others
- The Portland Collection tune books and CDs
- Hand-crafted hammered dulcimer ornament and other music themed ornaments
Composition and Arranging
- Original music for folk dancing, special occasions, film and video, etc.
- Music arranging and production of lead sheets, scores, and parts for your music
- Live sound reinforcement, specializing in contra dances and small-scale acoustic music events
- Studio recording, specializing in acoustic music projects, song demos, MIDI, and digital transfer from tapes or vinyl records
- Private lessons and group classes in hammered dulcimer and piano
- Hammered dulcimer instruction materials
- Assistance with setup and troubleshooting of your computer, MIDI, and digital recording applications
- Minor repairs of hammered dulcimers